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Smart thermostats are considered the number one smart home device to buy if you are looking to make the biggest savings in your energy bills each month, but they provide a lot of other benefits such as being able to control them remotely and potentially even making money from having one.
Let’s look at 17 reasons why you should buy a smart thermostat and the benefits you can get from having one.
1. They save you the most money
The number one reason that many people, including myself, get a smart thermostat is to save money. If there is one smart home device that saves you the most money, it is definitely the smart thermostat.
Having smart plugs and smart lights turn themselves off when not being needed will help towards saving you money on your energy bill each month, but smart thermostats designed to save on wasted energy definitely have the biggest impact and save you the most money.
You could argue that smart thermostats are more expensive to buy than a regular thermostat and may require an electrician to professionally install, but I believe in the long run you will still end up saving money even with that initial investment being needed.
Here are a few ways that a smart thermostat can save you money each month:
- Only turn the heating on when it is needed
- Have the heating turn itself off when no one is home
- Alert you to potential problems with the boiler or pipes which could save huge repair bills
- Set the heating to a specific temperature without overheating
2. They can earn you money
You might be surprised to hear that smart thermostats can earn you money, or at least offset the initial cost of buying one.
Many utility companies are willing to hand you money if you decide to upgrade to a smart thermostat. You may have to provide a receipt to show you have bought a smart thermostat and wait a couple of months, but at the end of the day, you are getting free money for something that benefits you in many other ways.
I actually got a free smart thermostat including installation as part of getting a new boiler recently.
Be sure to check whether your utility company is participating in this sort of scheme and you could use the money to buy even more smart home goodies!
3. They can be voice controlled
Smart thermostats can be voice-controlled using a voice assistant like Alexa or Google Assistant, just like many other smart home devices.
You will likely find it won’t work straight out of the box and you’ll first need to enable the skill, but once you do that, you can issue many different voice commands to control your thermostat.
Some examples asking for the heating to be set to a specific temperature or to turn on the boost mode that will only turn on the heating for so many minutes or hours.
4. They look stylish
This may not be the number one reason to buy a smart thermostat, but it having a modern, stylish look and looking nice on the wall is an added bonus.
Smart thermostats are hugely better than a traditional thermostat in the aesthetics department and they can be something to proudly display rather than try and hide.
Many smart thermostats will feature a large, color-rich LED touch screen display that is easy to read at a glance and have a brushed metal design that I personally really like the look of.
5. They integrate well with other smart home devices
Smart thermostats integrate incredibly fell with many other smart home devices and so can be incorporated into many different useful routines and automations.
IFTTT (If This, Then That) can be used to tell the thermostat to perform a certain action when certain conditions are met.
One of my favorite examples is having a smart sensor attached to a window. When the window is left open and the weather forecast shows that it is due to rain, you can receive a notification on your phone whilst also having your smart thermostat turn off, so you are not wasting energy through the open window.
When the window is shut, the thermostat could turn itself back on to a pre-set temperature depending on the ambient temperature inside.
Another example is having your heating turn on through geo-fencing. When you are seen to be approaching your home, the heating can turn itself on, so it has begun heating up the room before you even open the front door.
Smart thermostats can do so much more than many people initially think when you consider the possibilities of them working alongside other smart home devices.
6. They have an intuitive user interface
The interactive screen on the thermostat and the intuitive user interface found within the app make smart thermostats incredibly easy to set and start using.
All of the useful features you need are right there in front you and can be changed within literally seconds.
As soon as I open the app for my smart thermostat, I can see the temperature that the boiler is at as well as its status. Just one tap on the screen and I can adjust the temperature using a slider, turn off the heating completely, activate the boost mode or change the heating schedule.
There is no jargon to try and understand or complicated menus that need you to hunt around to find what you are looking for, making for a better user experience for everyone.
7. They can be set on a schedule
Smart thermostats are easy to setup on a schedule.
I personally have my smart thermostat heat up my home for an hour in the morning whilst I am getting ready and then for a few hours when I am relaxing with the family.
During the other hours of the day, the heating is off. After setting up the schedule initially, I no longer have to worry about and just have to make minor changes if I am going away on vacation, for example.
Setting up a schedule to only use the heating when it is needed saves on wasting energy whilst also saving you money on your energy bills each month.
Some smart thermostats also have the ability to learn your habits and then adjusting the temperature accordingly.
Examples include turning off the heating when you head off to work and the kids leave for school, adjusting the temperature according to the time of year, and heating up your home in time for you returning back in the evening.
8. They can be controlled remotely
One of my personal favorite features of a smart thermostat is having the ability to control it remotely through my smartphone.
Even though it is set to work to a schedule, there will likely come a time where you need to make an adjustment ready for when you are at home.
There have been a few times during the summer months where I typically wouldn’t need the heating on, but it was a particularly cold night. As I was leaving my mom’s house to return home, I quickly went into the app and turned the heating on, so it wasn’t cold for us when we returned home.
This remote-control feature comes in really handy when you need that extra bit of warmth ready for when you get home.
9. They are easy to use
Even for someone that isn’t particularly confident when it comes to using smart home devices or other forms of technology, smart thermostats are incredibly easy to set up and use.
Many won’t feature buttons where you aren’t sure what each one does and just feature a single touch screen display, whereas others have a dial that you simply need to turn to adjust the heating.
I personally have the Hive smart thermostat which features just a few buttons and a dial.
A single boost button allows me to turn the heating to a specific temperature before a set period of time before it goes back to its schedule, the dial allows me to quickly change the desired temperature for the schedule and a menu button allows me to access the settings which I very rarely have to do.
The documentation that comes with the smart thermostat is also clear, well laid out, and easy to understand. There are also plenty of resources online to help answer any of your questions should you have any.
10. They help prevent your pipes from freezing over
Most, if not all, smart thermostats will have a frost protection feature that helps prevent your pipes from freezing over when it is particularly cold.
This will activate automatically when the temperature drops below around 45°F or 7°C depending on the thermostat to help ensure the system stays about freezing.
The temperature in which frost protection will kick in can be changed, so it might be worth thinking about increasing it if you know that your pipes are susceptible to freezing over or they have done so in the past.
If your pipes do freeze over, you can expect to be paying a hefty amount to get them fixed. If they aren’t fixed and the pipes burst and cause water damage, a home insurance claim costs on average $5,000.
Having a smart thermostat to help ensure the pipes remain above a safe temperature could one day prove to be a very worthwhile investment.
11. They help the environment
Having a smart thermostat will save you money in the long run simply by using less energy, which has a direct positive impact on the environment.
The less energy that goes to waste, the less you are impacting the environment.
Many smart thermostats will easily allow you to check your energy usage their reports which will clearly show you how you are contributing towards the environment.
Even if you don’t buy a smart thermostat just to do your bit for the environment, it’s a nice feeling knowing you are contributing towards the cause.
12. They can adjust the temperature automatically
As well as being able to set the temperature yourself, smart thermostats are intelligent in that they can learn your heating preferences over time and adjust the temperature automatically.
Some can also monitor information provided by weather reports to make sure your home is heated whenever it is needed.
This saves you even having to think about setting the temperature yourself; the thermostat will take care of all of it for you.
13. They are portable
Although quite a few brands of smart thermostat require more power than regular batteries can provide, some do run on just batteries, making them portable.
The smart thermostat I personally use is battery-powered so I can happily take it off its holder and move around the house with it continuing to work as if I had never touched it.
What you commonly find with smart thermostats is that although they need more juice than batteries can supply, they don’t need to be connected directly to the mains electricity supply. Most will require a dedicated C wire which allows the thermostat to receive just enough of the low voltage power it needs from the HVAC system.
This article goes into more detail on how smart thermostats are powered if you want to know more.
14. They can detect movement
Every smart thermostat allows you to remotely adjust the temperature with your home, but some also come with a built-in motion detector.
This is used to determine whether anyone is at home and allows the HVAC system to turn down the heating or air conditioner accordingly.
The feature is also used to activate the display screen with someone is nearby. When the motion detector picks up movement, the screen will turn on and display the current temperature which you can see at a glance.
This motion sensor also opens up many opportunities for automations by integrating with IFTTT.
Rather than having a separate motion sensor, the one built into the smart thermostat can be used to trigger certain automations, such as sending a notification to your phone when the thermostat detects movement.
In a way, this also doubles up as a useful security feature to have as part of your smart home.
15. They can track energy usage
When you receive your energy bill at the month, it is difficult to see what may be causing a particular spike and so you don’t know what could be done to help reduce it in the future.
Smart thermostats come with an accompanying app that provides you with in-depth reports into exactly where and when your energy is being used.
The app can be used to find out exactly what is causing your energy bills to increase so you can do something about it if it starts to become a problem.
16. They can setup different heating zones
I’m sure there has been a time where you want the heating at a certain temperature, but other members of the family want it set to something else.
If you have different preferences when it comes to temperature to others, you’ll be glad to hear that some smart thermostats allow you to set up different heating zones through your home.
Gone are the days where you argue with your partner when you are boiling hot whereas they are freezing cold.
Some smart thermostats allow you to set up to 12 different heating zones which could come in useful if you have a particularly large home or a big family all with different preferences.
17. They are affordable
Smart thermostats may seem expensive, but I believe them to be affordable when you consider how much use you will get out of one for many years to come whilst also saving money through reducing your wasted energy.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you were to re-coop all of the money you spend on a smart thermostat within a year just through the energy savings; I certainly started saving when mine was installed.
Now you do have to keep in mind that you may need to get an electrician in to install it for you, but even still, they are most definitely worth it.
Personally, whenever I go to purchase something and think that is quite a lot of money, I like to take a step back and consider how much per day that purchase would cost me if I were to use it every day for a year.
When you consider that a smart thermostat including installation costs just $0.50 a day over the course of a year, it is actually very affordable given how many benefits it brings in addition to the inevitable energy savings you’ll make.